My great five days at WMF Part 3.

It turned out that many of WMF participants followed my FB battles, and approached me to discuss them in person.  I was hoping I wouldn’t get pulled into needless confrontations and become a target of  unprofessional actions.  To my pleasant surprise, this discussion was a great experience.  Real professional discussions: respectful, without animosity, and a great exchange of opinions. To me it felt like it was the light at the end of a tunnel. 
 
I’ve mentioned before, that at the time of presenting medical massage term more than 20 years ago, I also proposed scientifically established explanation of physiological effect of massage on the human body.  In my view, this made a crucial difference for the entire massage community; now we are able to explain scientifically how massage works.
 
Scientifically established physiological effect of massage is the number one condition of evidence-based practice. Below is the link to the info, I have presented on my instructional VHS and lately on DVDs, as well as in my articles.
 
Continuing the same line of reasoning, 17 years ago, Dr.Ross Turchaninov published one of the greatest textbooks available in English in the United States and, maybe, abroad: Medical Massage Vol 1, and Medical massage Vol 2.  In these books he have presented not just  general biomedical data, but science of massage, as well as more than 50 hands on medical massage protocols.  In my view, these texts made a huge contribution to the US massage therapeutic society.  Medical and sports massage have deep scientific and clinical roots.  It is well-documented data, supported by many decades of great clinical outcomes.
                                                                  
I think it’s obvious from the fact that  for 43 years I am practicing scientifically developed methodology of treatment, that, in no way, shape, or form, I can be against science, scientific approach or evidence-based massage therapy practice.
 
What I am against are slogans, that purposelessly excite crowd, and motivate to pretend practicing evidence-based massage, while at the same time denying treatment outcome as an evidence.
 
 What I am against is when practitioners pretending to be scientists, claiming “superiority” over
·       hard work
·       delivered results
·       good massage therapists
while at the same time spreading ignorance.
 
One lady told me something like this: ”Boris, I am practicing massage for more than 20 years. Practically everyone who claims developing and or practicing clinically oriented massage, learned foundation from you and Dr.Ross. They just repackaging and re-introducing it as their own developments.
 
Indeed 20 years ago practically no one used the term medical massage and utilized medical massage methodology.  I am, of course,  aware of repackaging, and believed this was a terrible trend, damaging to potential outcomes of treatment.  In my opinion, we can improvise with techniques, but strictly in the frame of proposed protocols.  Instead, these guys make up their own techniques.  Those new techniques, will be much less effective or maybe not effective at all and therefore damaging. 
 
I think this because those original protocols were developed by scientists, underwent rigorous testing in scientific institutions and then many years of clinical trials.  People who repackage protocols have neither scientific expertise and aptitude, nor ability to undertake sufficient clinical testing.
 
Also, this is an extremely unethical practice.  Neither I nor Dr. Ross ever claimed that the protocols of Medical Massage were developed by us.  All we did was to pass along the knowledge, developed by many outstanding scientists throughout the course of 19 and 20th centuries.
 
The lady also stated, that it was a mistake to get in arguments with the revolutionary gang. This “gang” openly declares new neuro-scientific revolution, stating that “the modern science” is the only way to go, thus denying any scientific data that was developed in previous centuries. Details we have explained in this blog Russian Medical Massage: Is it necessary to cross the line?
“Because you were alone against 50 to 60 people” the lady continued, “and their English was much better than yours.”
 
I smiled inside. If we were discussing specifics of English language, her argument would have held water.  But we were discussing massage, the subject independent of a particular language.  I would certainly love to have in my possession the capability of native English speaking.  Yet, under the circumstances, its absence was only the pretext to shut me down if not on the essence, than on technicality.   
 
When asked on why she didn’t express her opinion then, she responded that it was a waste of time and something that would create enemies, enemies that can harm.  “All these people connected to trade associations and other boards and”, ominously she added, ”you’ll see they will get you.”
 
BTW, She talked on front of approximately 15 people. I was impressed that they all agree with her.  Fear is a contagious.
 
Dear friends, it’s not the first-time that I saw people afraid to speak their professional mind. This is horrible, in general, but even more horrible in the country where free speech is guaranteed by the constitution.  
 
I got a bit excited, and declaimed to the entire group: ”My friends, go to YouTube and search for medical massage. There are more than 300 educational videos devoted to it.  At my website I also posted many related articles. If I am disseminating the wrong information, “they” are welcome to get me and if they do, then I am a threat.  If so, then who is speaking the truth?  and if they get me LOL you’ll know not to believe to this revolutionary gang.
For no merit of my own, the lady made me feel at least like Giordano Bruno.
 
In any case this Californian practitioner and other participants that took part in the discussion, told me, that they all were at the convention because of the absence of policies, and because they craved good professional educational environment.  In the end criteria, this was a good discussion, which encouraged me. It was great to know that out there, there were many real hard working honest clinicians.
 
Monday, July 21, 2004.
 
It was inspiring to see Judi Calvert presenting the seminar on the history of massage. It is important to know and remember that massage has 1000s year history and that we can learn a lot from various past experiences.
 
The main establishments of the Western medical massage happened in the end of the 19th and during the 20th century;  being this the connective tissue massage/fascia mobilization proposed in 1929, or many more clinically proven  methodologies and approaches, proven working today.
 
Soon I will come back, with “ My great five days at WMF part 4

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